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Forever...


Image courtesy of instagram.com/SIGA @ENG_NHARIA

Forever is the word we whisper to our children

As they fall asleep to the sound of sonic booms.

It is the only gift we can give them, a promise of continuity

That they will understand, year after passing year

As they come to a slow horrible realization of the triumph of death

When their bodies become the weapons we don't have:

The drones, the F16s, the instruments of mass terror...


Our children of the diaspora,

Weaned on a culture of personalities,

Learn to recognize the power of a charming smile

And the hollow authority of the eloquent.

Words like "hope" and "change" that carry their weight in blood.

They learn their history from soundbites and

Movies that speak nostalgically of the Unspeakable:

The fallen city, the secret prisons, the soldier coming home, the well-meaning politician...

While dispossessing us of our names, our identity

Stripping our faces of features and individuality,

Layer by layer, decade after decade,

So that what remains is the single story of:

The clenched fist, the turbaned head and the Kalashnikov.


Our rulers pawn their heritage

An oil barrel at a time, one memory at a time

For their sandcastles in the ocean

And a stroll down the corridors of power.


But...

We have other stories to tell

For there is a homeland in every trench.

And we will write our history with a new language of remembrance

Seared into the flesh of our children by your bombs.

We will give birth to a new truth, composed of one single word,

Locking both torturer and tortured, soldier and victim, your children and ours,

Whispered softly into your ears:

Forever.


Note: All my poems are published on medium.com/@asilrashid

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